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The Utter and Ironic Failure of Chavismo

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Published: 6th of June, 2022

Last updated: June 6, 2022 at 22:44 pm

Chavismo, having its roots in the Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement, emerged against the backdrop of the alleged marginalization of Venezuela’s indigenous, mixed, and black populations by elite whites of Spanish descent. Implemented by the late Hugo Chavez, Chavismo is a political policy which seeks to invest state riches to uplift and empower the poor – particularly the ethnic groups which Hugo Chavez alleged have historically been oppressed by the whites of Spanish descent in Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez led several uprisings against the government in power and was imprisoned in the 1990s. After release, he campaigned for the presidency once again and won in 1999. At the time of his death by cancer in 2013, Chavez selected then Vice President Maduro as his successor.

Hugo Chavez, like his successor Nicholas Maduro, identified as Mestizo – that is, an ethnic group of mixed heritage in Venezuela which comprises the black, indigenous, and Spanish races. But despite his partly-white heritage, Hugo Chavez, like his successor Nicolas Maduro, was a strong anti-white racist. Like his idol, Simon Bolivar, Chavez swore to put more power into the hands of Venezuela’s marginalized ethnic groups.

I swear before you, and I swear before the God of my fathers, that I will not allow my arm to relax, nor my soul to rest, until I have broken the chains that oppress us.

Simon Bolivar

Throughout his rule from 1999 to 2013, Hugo Chavez invested tremendous amounts of state wealth into poor communities of the indigenous, blacks, and mixed races. He also took up a strong anti-US stance, calling President Bush the devil and later evicting the US ambassador to Venezuela. He eventually cut ties completely with the United States. By the time of his death, inflation had already hit the Venezuelan currency.

After the death of Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro continued the Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement – a popular left-wing socialist movement which seeks to invest state riches into the lives of the poor. Sadly, Chavismo has hit rock bottom. It has failed utterly and ironically. One US dollar is now valued at more than 500,000 Venezuelan Bolivars. Despite its vast reserves of natural resources, the Venezuelan economy collapsed leading to food and medicine shortages and a subsequent mass migration.

A Venezuelan Refugee who fled to the streets of Boa Vista, Brazil, holds out a placard which reads, “I need your help.”

The very people whom Chavismo set out to empower were forced to flee Venezuela and live on the sidewalks of countries all over the world. Most of those afflicted by homelessness and hunger after the collapse of the Venezuelan economy are those whom Chavismo had set out to empower – the indigenous, black, and mixed populations.

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